I adore Shepherd’s Pie – it is simply such a lush and comforting dish. I love giving it the odd twist to fit my appetite or the occasion, as it were. Here is my festive version, ideal for Thanksgiving Lunch or for Christmas, or any other occasion you look forward to. The whole kitchen is infused with scents of rosemary and cooked stew – oh yum ! You can use puy lentils in place of veggie mince if you wish – if so, use 1 cup of pre-cooked lentils, boil, strain, and set aside for use in the sauce mix. Extremely child friendly dish too – so, everybody’s happy now !
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
extra virgin olive oil
1 white medium onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups soya mince/crumble, or any other vegan mince of your choice
3 to 4 Tbsp tomato puree/paste
1 cup warm/hot water
1½ cups chopped tomatoes, or passatta (I placed mine in the blender first)
sea salt to taste
½ cup petit pois
½ cup pre-steamed baby carrots (they must be soft)
Heat the oil in a casserole, and fry your onion. When it’s transparent, add the garlic and stir in the tomato puree, mix for a minute or so.
Now add your mince (or pre-cooked puy lentils), and stir well. After 2-3 minutes, add the remaining ingredients, except for the water.
After around 5 to10 minutes stirring on and off, slowly add the water until the desired consistency is achieved. It should be thick, but still with a little loose sauce.
Pour into a medium-sized ovenproof dish (mine was 8 inches square, 2 inches deep) , and pre-heat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING (Mashed Potatoes)
4 large potatoes, peeled, cut into squares, and boiled until soft
¼ cup cashew milk, or other dairy-free option of your choice
salt to taste (it’ll take more than you think)
½ tsp rosemary, for garnishing
OR you can use Mr Mash (or any other vegan instant mash) – which I confess I love ! Yes, it’s processed potato, but I only make it half a dozen times during the course of the winter months.
After the potatoes have softened, and are still hot, quickly remove the water, and start mashing. Add the salt and vegan butter/margarine (I make my own) – taste for salt, and finish off by adding the milk – make sure the mash is smooth and has a super mouth-feel. Now it’s ready for the topping.
Spoon the topping onto the rich thick sauce with a tablespoon – try covering as much of the surface as possible, and then with a sharp fork, mark it, to create a great design all over – then sprinkle/garnish with rosemary, and another lump of vegan butter or olive oil, and place in the hot oven, until golden. Should turn golden within half an hour or a little longer.
Take out of the oven, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving, as it will be piping hot.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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